Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lemony rice noodles - Quick fix to a bad craving

When I think about rice noodles, the image I have is of my parents planning and executing the ottu shavige (that is what it is called in Kannada)project.  Since it is a labor intensive preparation, amma starts getting the rice flour ready by soaking the rice for a couple of hours and letting it drain and dry inside the house, the rice would then be sent to the flour mill to come back as a fine powder. Ottu shavige is a full day affair and made in large quantities with a variety of toppings and mixings to go with it. We each had our favorites, my younger brother who loves sweets would go for the gasagase payasa(kheer made with poppy seeds) while I always asked amma for a spicy chutney and a bowl of seasoning to mix with it.

By itself, ottu shavige is bland like rice and is eaten with side dishes. You will find it served with stew/gravy if you were in Kerala. In our house, it was usually variations of lemon shavige, tamarind shavige, pepper shavige for the savory fare while the sweet versions had payasa or jaggary-coconut chutney.

Anna had got the ottu shavige maker (a hand operated device) from Mangalore. The principle is same as the chakli/murukku maker where you put the cooked rice balls and turn the handle to get thin strands of noodles. Because of the size and shape of the device, making shavige is easier with it compared to using a small chakli/murukku maker. I do not own a shavige maker but make small quantities with my murukku maker for the 3 of us which turns out well. While I will blog about the real deal later, here is a quick fix to a bad craving when it strikes me.

It is a very simple recipe, the raw green chilies and lemon juice makes the dish taste unique. It is called hasi(raw) chutney shavige. Enjoy this authentic shavige variation with store bought rice noodles for breakfast or a light dinner.
What do you need to make lemony shavige? 
1 packet of rice noodles (See notes) - I got a 6oz packet
1 big juicy lemon
2 Tblsp grated coconut (fresh or frozen)
3-4 green chilies (adjust according to your spice tolerance)
1 Tblsp salt (adjust to taste)
For Vaggarane/seasoning: 
1 Tblsp cooking oil
1/2 Tsp asafoetida
1 Tsp mustard seeds
1 Tsp chana dal/kadle bele
1 Tsp urad dal/uddina bele
1 Tblsp peanuts
4-5 curry leaves
1 dry red chili broken into 2(optional)
How do you make lemony shavige?
  • If the noodles you have are very long, break them in half so it fits snugly into the pot you use to cook it. 
  • Get about 5 cups of water in a sauce pan with 2 drops of oil and bring it to boil, add the noodles in, stir it once and let it boil for 3-4 minutes (See notes)
  • Take the pot off the stove, drain the water, spread it in a wide bowl and let it cool.
  • Take the coconut and green chilies to a blender or vegetable chopper and blend them into a rough, almost dry chutney. Do not use water, this chutney doesn't have to be smooth. 
  • Prepare vaggarane/seasoning: Heat oil in a pan, add mustard, red chilies, dals and peanut (if using), let mustard crackle and peanuts pop. Add curry leaves, asafoetida and switch off. 
  • Work with the cool, cooked noodles gently and break them into about 1-1/2 inch pieces. Take care not to mash the shavige. 
  • Add the chutney, lemon juice and salt along with the prepared seasoning to the cooked shavige and gently mix it in. Let it sit for atleast 15 minutes for the flavors to get absorbed. 
  • I do not use turmeric in this recipe as I love the light green color of the final product. You can use turmeric while preparing the seasoning if you like the yellow color. 
  • You can add a couple of twigs of cilantro while making the chutney for a cilantro flavor. 
  • Add cashew nuts to the seasoning instead of or in addition to peanuts.
  • Get the thinnest available rice noodles (I have found good ones in Asian/Chinese stores here) and make the masala. 
  • Refer to the cooking instructions on the noodles packet. Since mine were all in Chinese which I don't read, I just went by experience on this one and checked to see if the shavige cooked soft before switching off. 
  • Be gentle while mixing the chutney as you want the noodle strands to stay intact.


Tina said...

Delicious and flavourful...

Gayathri NG said...

Looks delicious n yummy sevai...

NamsVeni Pothas said...

very hard preparation and tasty dish with veriety of side dishes. healthy one also.

Sum said...

Hey.... We too make it almost similarly...
Thanks for ur comments on mine... was relocating so couldnt post a thing :) Didn't make out what u were referring to as something for me on ur blog...

Jay said...

wow..awesome...cant wait to try this
Tasty Appetite

Sushma said...

Can you suggest what brand of noodles you have used please? This is a very thin variety I have not seen in Indian grocery in my town. Thanks in advance


Nagashree said...

Sushma - I got this from an Asian mart here. Look for a Chinese store in your neighborhood and they have really thin variety, I have tried a couple of brands such as Dragon and Maifun. Recently i saw MTR and other brands of rice noodles in Indian grocery here but they don't store them consistently, they may just be starting to export. Hope this helps.

Sushma said...

Thank you Nagashree, will definitely try.